So far, series creator Tim Kring is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding upcoming miniseries Heroes Reborn, which will see some of the existing cast members joined by a host of newcomers. One of them is Carlos, who is being played by relative newbie Ryan Guzman. We spoke to the actor about his mysterious character…
Can you tell us a bit about your character, Carlos?
Carlos is an army veteran, still working with the army on tour, and he is very apathetic – he’s gone through a lot that weighs on him. A certain event has happened in Carlos’s past that takes over his mental stability, and as we come across Carlos in the series, we realise how much this weighs on him. As soon as he comes back from the armed services, he’s offered an opportunity to change his life for the better, in a manner of speaking.
How has the world of Heroes Reborn changed since the ending of the original series?
The original series ended with Claire showing the world that she has powers, so it drastically changes the whole world and the outlook on these evolved humans that we call ‘evos’, so people are being hunted for their powers. Being a person that has these extraordinary abilities is as first amazing and incredible, but then you realise what ensues after that, you will be hunted and you are not liked in this new world.
As much as I can say about Carlos, he’s very self-deprecating, so he is more involved in his own worries and problems when we first meet him. It’s not until later on does he get the opportunity to think outside of himself, so… his arc starts off with just being self-obsessed pretty much.
How did you become involved with the show? Did you know you were auditioning for Heroes Reborn, or has it been more secretive?
I knew that I was auditioning for Heroes Reborn, I just didn’t know about the full extent of the character. We were told certain aspects of the characters, and you had to fill in the blanks. I went to two auditions: the first was in front of the casting directors, I got called back, and the second was actually testing footage in front of the producers. It was very, very quick, and I enjoyed the character so much, because he’s kind of everything I want to play in a character as of now. I’ve been asking for someone who’s in the armed services and trying to overcome something. Carlos is very in-depth, and he was just a very enticing character.
Were you a fan of the original series?
When it was first out, I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t a person who watched it, just because I didn’t really watch anything back then. I went to college, I barely had enough money to pay for rent, and I was a baseball player; just consumed in baseball. I did end up watching it all the way through, and fell in love with it. I think a lot of people have said the same thing, that the first season was their favourite, I think the first season for sure was my favourite season. It got you involved in all these characters and made you care about them. Tim Kring and the writers did a great job of making us fall in love with these characters rather than just their powers alone.
What’s it like going from watching a show to appearing in it? It must have been quite a surreal experience!
It is, yeah! This whole thing is surreal. I’m always looking at the other cast members and asking “How did we get here, and why do we deserve this?” The thing that makes it a little more surreal is that I’m working with Jack Coleman. From watching it on Netflix to seeing him in person brings you back to reality really quick!
Were there any particular characters you were inspired by when portraying Carlos?
I definitely pulled from the Punisher, Batman and Iron Man – there’s a bit of those three characters in Carlos. Obviously in different ways, they’re not full mirror images, but certain aspects I used, and it was fun. It’s a dream true. Ever since I was a young kid I wanted to play a character like this, and who doesn’t want to be a superhero-type character?
With such a large fanbase already existing, do you feel any additional pressure, or is it helpful?
There was initially a lot of pressure on everybody. Up until Comic Con – Comic Con helped us out and made us believe in the product, because we got to see clips from the show that none of us had seen before, and we saw the quality of the product as well. And the fanbase was immense, it was incredible to go out and see several thousand heads waiting on you and your every word. So the pressure’s always there, but now it’s become incredible useful in helping us make the best possible product we can.
You mention Comic Con – was there a particular highlight from the Heroes Reborn panel?
It was surreal, I felt like like a complete rock star – the closest I could feel to being a rock star. I think I said maybe five or six words within that panel, but still, it was an incredible feeling to see that something you’re doing is touching so many. You don’t really think about that as you’re doing it, so it was definitely an eye-opening event. The whole weekend was something I never imagined I’d be a part of, so I was just very grateful and thankful.
Are there any characters from the original series that Carlos is similar to?
There are certain pieces of others you could take from, but this is a stretch – the kind of self-loathing that Sylar had, because he didn’t really understand who he was or what he was, which feeds into Carlos a lot in his gradual build of himself. It’s similar with a lot of characters as well about who they were, so they had to figure themselves out first, and then realise what they needed to do after they figured out what they could do.
What would you say the main themes of Heroes Reborn are?
Oh man, there’s so many different… with such a huge cast, everybody kind of has their own thing. That’s why when we were doing promos, everybody had their own thing: ‘Embrace who you are’, that sort of thing. I think the main theme, I guess, is find out what you’re made of, and overcome.
Heroes Reborn will air from 24 September on NBC in the US, with a UK air date to follow. For more on the biggest TV shows, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.